Hearing odd noises from your Honda Accord’s steering wheel as you make turns is often a sign of trouble. The most common cause is a lack of lubrication in key components like the suspension, power steering system, tie rods, steering rack, or struts/shocks. Finding the source of the squeak and taking corrective action can save you money on more extensive repairs down the road.
In this article, I will talk about Why Does My Honda Accord Squeak When I Turn The Wheel.
Reasons For Squeaking When Turning The Steering Wheel
There are three main reasons why your Honda Accord may squeak when you turn the wheel:
- Friction in Steering Wheel Housing and Trim
- Low Power Steering Fluid
- Lack of Suspension Lubrication
Friction In Steering Wheel Housing And Trim
The plastic and rubber materials that make up your steering wheel housing can rub together and cause squeaking with use over time. The same goes for the interior trim pieces around the steering column.
Friction develops in the form of small grooves, pits, and cracks in these components. When you turn the wheel, the damaged areas rub together and make noise. Lubricating with a silicone spray can help, but deteriorated parts may need replacing.
Low Power Steering Fluid
Your Honda Accord uses power steering fluid to lubricate the steering rack, pump, and other components. Low fluid levels can lead to whining or squeaking noises when turning as metal parts rub together.
Checking the fluid level and topping it off if needed can often quiet the squeak. Signs of leaks around seals or the rack may indicate bigger problems needing repair.
Lack Of Suspension Lubrication
The various metal joints and bushings in your Honda’s suspension system can also cause squeaking if they lack lubrication. Turning the steering wheel shifts weight and creates movement that reveals the problem.
Lubricating ball joints, control arm bushings, tie rod ends, and sway bar links with grease or silicone spray can eliminate annoying squeaks during turns.
Locating The Source Of The Noise
Pinpointing exactly where the squeak is coming from is crucial to addressing the problem. Here are some tips for tracking it down:
- Listen closely as you turn the wheel to isolate the general area.
- Check if the noise happens when stationary or only when moving.
- Turn the wheel fully left and right to put components under stress.
- Have someone turn the wheel as you listen under the hood and under the car.
- Inspect key components like steering gear, suspension, belts, and pulleys for signs of wear.
Focusing your troubleshooting helps zero in on whether it’s a power steering, suspension, or other issue causing the squeak when turning the wheel.
Repairing A Squeaky Steering Column
If wiggling the steering wheel produces squeaking, the column needs attention. Here’s how to quiet it down:
- Lubricate With White Lithium Grease
- Tighten Mounting Bolts
- Replace Steering Column If Needed
Lubricate With White Lithium Grease
Apply grease to the joints between the wheel housing and interior trim. Work it into the crevices with a small brush.
Tighten Mounting Bolts
Grab a ratchet and socket set to tighten any loose steering column mounting bolts under the dashboard.
Replace Steering Column If Needed
For persistent squeaking or looseness, the entire steering column assembly may need replacement. Consult a mechanic.
Regular lubrication helps, but sometimes the steering column reaches the end of its service life. Get any serious issues addressed before they lead to unsafe handling.
Refilling Power Steering Fluid
Let’s look at maintaining proper power steering fluid levels to stop squeaking when turning the wheel:
- Locate The Fluid Reservoir
- Add Fluid If Needed
- Look For Leaks
- Flush The System
Locate The Fluid Reservoir
Check your owner’s manual to find the power steering fluid reservoir. It has a dipstick to check the level.
Add Fluid If Needed
Top off the reservoir with the recommended fluid if it’s low. Don’t overfill past the “Max” line.
Look For Leaks
Inspect the hoses and pump for signs of fluid leaks. These can lead to low levels over time.
Flush The System
For persistent low fluid, have the power steering system flushed to eliminate contaminants.
Keeping your Accord topped up with clean fluid prevents whining and squeaking from developing. Next we’ll discuss lubricating the suspension.
Lubricating The Suspension System
Here are some tips for keeping your Honda’s suspension lubricated to stop squeaking when I turn the wheel:
- Use Lithium Grease On Joints
- Spray Bushings With Silicone
- Change Shock/Strut Oil
- Flush Power Steering System
Use Lithium Grease On Joints
Wipe down suspension joints and apply white lithium grease. Target ball joints and tie rod ends especially.
Spray Bushings With Silicone
Use silicone lubricant on suspension bushings and anti-squeak spray on the springs.
Change Shock/Strut Oil
Over time, the oil inside shocks and struts becomes contaminated. Replacing it restores smooth suspension motion.
Flush Power Steering System
Dirty power steering fluid causes pump whining. Flushing removes debris to make it run quietly.
Regular lube jobs keep the suspension operating smoothly and silently. Now let’s recap what we’ve covered.
Diy Inspection And Repair Tips
Many causes of steering wheel squeaking can be fixed yourself with some basic tools and mechanical know-how:
Lubricate The Suspension
Use a silicone spray or lithium grease to lubricate ball joints, bushings, and other suspension parts. Focus on areas that bind or stick when turning. This often eliminates annoying squeaks and creaks.
Check Power Steering Fluid
Make sure the level is between the “min” and “max” markings and top it off if low. This ensures proper lubrication inside the steering rack and pump. Watch for leaks.
Inspect The Steering Gear
Check for play in the steering shaft by rocking the wheel. Excessive movement can make noises. Have worn components like the rack and tie rods inspected.
Replace Damaged Interior Trim
Cracked, loose, or rubbing steering wheel trim can cause irritating squeaks on turns. Replace deteriorated parts to permanently fix the problem.
Adjust The Serpentine Belt
A loose belt that slips on accessories like the power steering pump can squeak. Tightening to the proper tension will stop annoying chirping.
Staying on top of regular inspections and maintenance is the best way to keep your Honda Accord’s steering system running quietly and reliably for the long haul.
When To Seek Professional Help
Repairing some causes of steering wheel squeaking takes special tools and skills. Seek out a professional technician for:
- Replacing worn power steering or suspension components
- Fixing leaks in the power steering system
- Tightening loose or damaged steering components
- Aligning the wheels if pulling one way
- Flushing contaminated or old power steering fluid
Waiting too long can allow minor issues to escalate into larger repair bills. Listen for squeaks when turning and get them checked out right away. Your mechanic can troubleshoot the specific cause and recommend the right fix.
Costs Of Common Repairs
Here are typical repair costs for some issues that can cause a Honda Accord’s steering wheel to squeak:
Power steering rack replacement
New power steering pump
Tie rod replacement
$125-$400 per tie rod
Control arm with bushings
$200-$550 per arm
Ball joint replacement
$80-$150 per joint
Steering gearbox rebuild
Front shock or strut replacement
Keep in mind costs can vary widely based on your location, car model, and specific parts needed. Diagnostics and labor will also add to the total bill.
Maintaining Your Honda Accord’s Steering System
With proper maintenance, you can minimize steering related repairs and keep your Honda Accord’s wheel from squeaking on turns:
- Check power steering fluid monthly and top off as needed. Schedule a fluid flush every 60,000 miles.
- Inspect suspension components like ball joints and tie rod ends regularly for wear. Lubricate with grease.
- Replace steering and suspension parts before they fail. Watch for leaks, looseness, and clunking noises.
- Rotate and align the tires every six months to prevent uneven wear that can cause steering wheel squeaks.
- Lubricate interior trim pieces with silicone spray to prevent squeaking plastic and rubber.
Staying vigilant saves you money and keeps your Honda steering and suspension in top shape. Act quickly on any new noises to nip problems in the bud.
Common Questions about Honda Accord Steering Wheel Squeaks
Does Low Power Steering Fluid Cause Squeaking?
Yes, insufficient power steering fluid is a common reason for squeaky steering wheel sounds in Hondas. Low fluid leads to metal on metal friction and whining from the pump. Topping off the fluid usually quiets the noise if it’s not caused by a larger issue like a leak.
What Does It Cost To Replace Power Steering Fluid?
Replacing all the power steering fluid typically costs $70-$120 in most cars, including parts and labor. DIY fluid replacement runs about $25-$40 for a few quarts of the correct fluid. Use only fluid meeting Honda’s specifications in your Accord.
What Causes Power Steering Noise?
Common sources of power steering noise include low fluid, a loose belt, bad steering rack mounts, a failing pump, and leaks in the hoses. Any of these can lead to whining and squeaking from the system due to lack of lubrication or component failure.
When Should I Replace The Steering Rack?
If you hear clunking noises when turning or have excessive play in the wheel, the steering rack may need replacement. Similarly, any evidence of fluid leaks near the rack seals indicates possible failure. Most racks last upwards of 100,000 miles before needing replacement.
Can I Fix Steering Wheel Squeaks Myself?
Many common causes like lack of lubrication, low power steering fluid, loose belts, and worn bushings can be fixed DIY. But issues like a bad steering rack require a mechanic for repair. Get any persistent or worsening steering squeaks checked out right away.
The Bottom Line
It’s annoying and concerning when your Honda Accord’s steering wheel starts squeaking during turns. While the cause may be as simple as lubricating the suspension, it could also indicate more serious wear and tear.
Don’t ignore new steering noises – inspect the components and fluid levels yourself or take it into a shop. Addressing any problems now makes sure small repairs don’t turn into major ones down the road. With prompt action, you can eliminate steering wheel squeaking and continue enjoying smooth, quiet handling.